Double(s) Take Turning Rule Revisions—this time the right one

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Through miscommunication, the “Changes to Turning Rule” published in the June 2007 Squash Magazine, the wrong version of the new “Turning Rule” was published. Set forth below is the correct version of the new rule. As previously stated in the June 2007 issue, the purpose of the new rule is to eliminate the cheap and many times abused “around” let while maintaining safety on the court. The new version requires a player who physically turns on the ball to play the ball unless the ball squirted out of the back corner or unless his opponents have failed to clear. It also prohibits a turning player from playing the ball to anywhere other than the front wall or the side walls in the front third of the court. Thus the turning player can still play offensive or defensive shots while preserving the safety of the opponents by eliminating the shots into the side walls where the opponent has cleared. Once a player announces his intention to turn, the opponents will know that if they clear to the side walls they will be safe from being struck by the ball. The turning player will also know that it is safe for him to play the ball to the front court. If the opponents have cleared properly, the abused “around let” is eliminated. If the opponents do not clear then they risk losing the point. Hopefully a “win-win” situation for everyone.

Again, this rule is experimental. US Squash and Squash Canada have agreed to have all US Doubles Tournaments use the new rule in order to see whether it is adequate with both countries revisiting the rule at year’s end to determine whether it should be permanently adopted. The front-third of the court will be liberally interpreted so as to provide safety yet allow safe shots to be hit. We’ll be looking for feedback as the year goes on so as to determine whether we believe this rule should be adopted permanently. Comments to Mike McGorry at

New Turning Interpretation
(To be used in USA and Canada throughout the 2007/2008 season on a trial basis)

A player who “turns” on the ball (or “Comes Around”) must make every effort to play the ball. This change in the rules is made to eliminate the abuse of the “safety let” provision, often invoked by a player to recover from a defensive position, while continuing to provide safety for all players on the court.  In so doing, the following provisions apply:

(1) The turning player should warn his opponents that he is turning by declaring  his intent to turn (“turning,” “coming around” or some other appropriate verbal warning). Failure to do so will result in the loss of the point if the turning player strikes an opponent whether or not the opponent has cleared to the side wall.

(2) The turning player’s opponents must make every effort to clear to give the turning player the full front wall and the side walls in the front third of the court, as well as provide freedom to the striker to play the ball.

(3) The turning player must play the ball to the front wall or to the side walls in the front third of the court.

(4) If the ball hits an opponent who has cleared to the side wall or hits the side wall other than in the front third of the court, the turning player loses the point.


(A) Where the striker, while planning to play his normal shot, is forced to turn to play the ball due to the ball “squirting” off the back or side wall, forcing the striker to turn unexpectedly. In this case, a let will be played, provided the striker could have played the ball.

(B) When the opponents do not make every effort to clear. In this case, the striker need not play the ball, a let will be played and the referee should warn the opponents that future failure to clear will result in a “point to the striker.”